Wootton Bassett To Take Next Step Forward


Wootton Bassett | Haras d’Etreham


DEAUVILLE, France–It has been three years since Wootton Bassett’s name was in lights courtesy of his first-crop European champion 3-year-old Almanzor (Fr), and while his good results on the racetrack have continued in the interim the best could be yet to come for the son of Iffraaj (GB), whose first big crop post-Almanzor are yearlings this year.

Wootton Bassett, who also supplied the listed-winning Do Re Mi Fa Sol (Fr) from his first crop at €6,000, the G3 Prix Fontainbleau winner and multiple Group 1-placed Wootton (Fr) from his third crop and the G3 Prix la Rochette victor The Black Album (Fr) from his fourth crop, has had another good year on the track in 2019, said Haras d’Etreham’s Nicolas de Chambure.

“This year’s 2-year-olds are the last crop bred at €6,000,” he said. “He has about 80 2-year-olds on the track and has had seven winners already and two stakes horses. He has two 2-year-olds running in the stake at Deauville on Saturday. This crop is also more spread around with various trainers than his previous ones. He’s also had five stakes horses from his 3-year-old crop, so it’s been a good year on the track for him.”

Wootton Bassett’s current yearling crop, bred on a fee of €20,000, numbers about 100.

“They’re well spread around Europe,” de Chambure noted. “It was the first year that he had a good few Irish and English breeders that used him. He has two in Doncaster, about 10 at Tattersalls and a good few in Goffs. So they’re well spread around.

“Here in Deauville will be the first group to the sell,” de Chambure said. “We’ve seen a good few ourselves and it’s a good group, obviously from some better mares. Hopefully the market will continue to support them and the breeders will be rewarded with good prices, and they’ll go to good homes.”

Wootton Bassett has 11 catalogued for the August sale and a further four in the following day’s v2 sale. Haras des Capucines sells three, including lot 45, a colt out of a half-sister to group winner and producer Galatee (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Etreham has two in the August sale, including lot 27, a colt from the Australian winner The Hunt Is On (Aus) (Manhattan Rain {Aus}), a half-sister to the Group 1-winning fillies Abbey Marie (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) and Absolutely (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) and from the extended family of European Group 1 winners Groom Dancer, Plumania and Left Hand.

“He’s from a really good European family,” de Chambure said of Lot 27. “He’s a good, strong colt, with a good walk, typical Wootton Bassett. So hopefully he’ll start the year in a good way.”

“Wootton Bassett gives plenty of substance to his horses,” de Chambure added. “They have great substance, really good walks and great minds, so the trainers like them as well.”

After two seasons at €20,000 in 2017 and 2018, Wootton Bassett’s fee was doubled to €40,000 this year and de Chambure said his book remained full.

“He’s still limited to 130; we have a strict policy of limiting our sires’ books,” he explained. “He has a good group of shareholders, so that’s always helped. Breeders know he’s limited, and he throws good-looking yearlings. All those things make it easier to raise the price, and his results on the track have been so consistent, so breeders felt the price was worth it.”

De Chambure was quick to point out the value of a stallion like Wootton Bassett to Haras d’Etreham.

“When you’ve taken a chance on a stallion that was a reasonable price to start with, and they do it the hard way, it makes a big difference for us financially and for the reputation of the farm,” he said. “Some horses get off a great start and then find it difficult to continue even with better mares and bigger numbers. But it looks like Wootton Bassett is jumping through all the hoops. We’re delighted to have him.”

And the team at Etreham is just as delighted to have Almanzor, Wootton Bassett’s 2016 Prix du Jockey Club, Irish Champion and Champion S. winner who this year completed his second season at €35,000 and is now at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand.

“We now have his first foals on the ground in France and in Europe, and the breeders are really happy with them,” de Chambure said. “It’s exciting to have him, and we look forward to seeing his yearlings and his horses on the track in the next couple of years.”

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